In life, sometimes even the simplest, smallest things become too complicated to understand, because we assume that they are just too easy. Being simple enough, they fail to generate in our minds attraction, fondness or interest, especially over such practices like going to temple every day. Even our learned sages, teachers etc. speak very little about this process, because they feel that all are wise just for the fact that they go to the temple. What to say regarding this matter. Yes, even if they would utter anything at all, it would just be that one ought to visit a temple. Without doing so, one cannot be a jain at all. By visiting the temple, your seat in the heaven is reserved.
We have just been hearing many such cliches for too long, and would keep on hearing them with minor variations. Shall we hear just this much ? No ! Now, what is the importance of visiting a temple ? What temple is ? Who are the people there in the temple ? How they are Why are they necessary ? And so on. We have to understand these very questions. The system of preserving our samkaars through scientific, psychological social and religious ways and means is called samskriti or culture.
Only that culture is alive the samskaars of which are maintained through practice. The very beginning of our samskaars or noble conduct lies in the temple. It is so because when a child, 40-50 days after its birth, is brought temple by its mother, after giving it Jindarshan, Namokar chant is poured into its ears. Alongwith that, the infact is madeto receive the eight basic qualities, i.e. astha moolguna after giving up wine, meat, honey and panch-udambars (barh, peepal, pakar, goolar, kathomar) b e got performed by any qrihasthacharya (Pandit) or family guru, monk ascetic, and sage-teacher, or any other wise, mature male or female. Until the boys/girls grow up to the age of eight years, the onus of this observance of the conduct lies with their parents or relatives bringing them up. Care must not use wine, meat and honey to those boys and girls even in medicines etc.
After the age of eight years, make it clear to these boys and girls that these things (wine, meat, honey etc.) are extremely unholy. They should be told, `You were given the rule regarding these when you were a child. That is why so far we have taken every care to encure its compliance by you. Now you ought to strictly follow this rule, otherwise by consumption of the condemned things, your life too would become accursed. Consumption of the approved things would enhance your self esteem and you would be saved from miseries and intellectuals of the Jain religion are feeling that among our young generation, the samskaars of our religious culture are on the decline. But, for development of their samskaars, no such effective measures are being looked for or thought about, which may promptly be translated into action, Then it appears that—
(Sahil ke tamashai har doobne wale ka
Afsos to karte hain imdaad nahin karte).
On lookers at the shore, for each drowing one,
Do feel sad, but never tend to help.
Appropriate enough it is, feeling sad on the part of those who do not know swimming. How can they rescue the drowning one ? Those who have no interest in learning to swim themselves cannot at all learn it by merely reading a book. However, those who can swim in water cannot see a man drowning but would immediately rush up and try to save him, or would shout for help so that some swimmer might instantly arrive and try rescue the drowning person.
Ahain, the one who shouts for help too is possessed by courage and a desire to swim. Quite often, driven by an intense urge to save a drowned man, one who cannot swim impulsively takes a dive into water and drowns himself alongwith the drowning person. That is why, it is better to learn swimming, otherwise getting drowned/causing to drown in water is a certainty.
There goes a very old story. A trader used to run his business sailling in a boat. It went on for quite a long time. For the purpose of his trade, he would carry his goods in a boat to another island and after selling it over, would fetch the goods produced there at a low price. In this manner, through dual trading, he would earn a lot of money an old friend happened to meet him and started saying, and the boat too has gone pretty old.
Who knows when a cyclone hits, or some marine animal overturns the boat. Therefore, now you must learn swimming. An expert swimmer has come to the villahe. He teaches swimming in just three days.
Hearing his friend’s advice, the trader said, “Three days are required to learn sqimming. I don’t have three minutes of time.”
My boat is already loaded, ready to leave. In three days I’ll trade up lacs of rupees. Where is the need to learn swimming ? Why to waste time over learning to swim ? In today’s life, one has no time even to die. Even if someone else dies, Sunday suits the others. It is a holiday all right, even then one would not walk along the dead body to the cremation ghat. Just for the sake of formality. he would drive up straight to the ghat. That is the proof of our business.”
The friend tried hard to make the trader see his point, but the latter very polite;y conveyed to him that he really did not have three days of time to learn swimming. “Yes, if there is some easier way to cope with the hazards of the sea, please let me know, “he said. Then his friend replied. “In that case, do one thing. Get yourself two empty drums from the market and have them sealed. Keep them under your seat in the boat.
Whenever there is such a danger and the boat starts kinking, just jump into water with both the drums. That would save you from drowing.”
The trader thought-this indeed a very easy way to save oneself from drowing. He thanked his friend profusely.
Later, the trader bought two empty drums from the market, got them seased, placed them under his seat in the boat and set out on his foreign voyage for trading. This time he earned a huge profit. Therefore the thought that in this country, gold here and put it into those empty drums. They would be totally safe lying close to him. In case of any emergency, he can even take a jump into the sea carrying them. Thinking like this, he stuffed both the drums with gold coins and placed them under his seat in the boat.
What followed ? In the midst of the sea, there arose such furious storm as had never been seem. The boat started rocking, rotating in water, got directionless and sea-water started filling into it. The sailors tried their level best to save the boat, but to no avail. When it started capsizing, Since they all knew swimming, they jumped into the sea and started swimming.
The trader figured out that he had got two drums. If simply jumped into water with those, the gold would also be he saved alongwith himself. But the moment he jumped into the sea carrying those drums, he plunged and never came up even to take a breath. The moment ge drowned, he was gobbled by marine creatures.
Just as that trader did not have even three days to learn swimming, and consequently died by drowing into water. He was also given an opportunity to keep empty drums by himself, so that he might be able to float with their support, but he, driven by greed, filled those drums with sin in the form of gold, and ultimately died in the sea of the world.
That we have got to get across the sea of the world, this creature can stay afloat in the ocean of the world by awakening the power of the spirit through the means of fasring, rules, self-control etc. But it one does not have time enough for those things there is at least temple, like the empty drum, with the support much, one can make it to the shore of the ocean, i.e. the world.
But the individual has ignored the instrument or means like the temple. He has made it a place meant for fulfillment of innumerable materrialistic desires and aspirations. Because of that, this creature is doomed or dying in the world-ocean. Hence you ought to always keep with you at least the empty drum like the temple, and always get your life blessed by going to it.
Today, `lack of time’ has become the stock-phrase of each individual of every class. In case people are asked if they visit temple every morning ; engage in self-study (holy scriptures) spend time in the company of sages-ascetics, saints, greatsouls, learned folks, hear discourses and so on, the sole reply to all such queries would be `find no time’. When there is no time for religious activities, where do they find all the time for their morning walks, seeing. TV., reading newspaper, mahazines, novels etc., going to parties, clubs etc. ? To that, they explain that it is the need of the hour. Presently it is the age of science. Keeping up to date about all the knowledge and information about the world is utterly necessary. Have you ever bothered to think as to what amout of samskaars from the culture we are born into, do we really possess. To what extent are we aware of it ?
When we do not have faith in or reverence for the samskaar features of the religion in their micro or seed form, how can our religious culture survice ? And then we go about bemoaning the want and decline of religion and culture. Therefore, in order to keep the lamp of the culture lighted, putting the oil of samskars is utterly necessary, otherwise we all would be shrouded by the pall of sins. Therefore do not be a mere spectator to watch the lamp of your religious culture getting snuffed out. Rather, acquiring samskaars for yourself inspire others too to become refined or samskaarwan. Otherwise there is very little oil of samskaars in this lighted lamp of the culture. On top of that, the blind storm of materialism too is very intense. How long can this lamp of culture keep lighted ? You can yourself imagine.
For whole of this, we are all responsible. If we arise together, with firm resolve, we can find our lost samskeer once again. The only things that lacks is resolve. Those who make intense resolution have their concussions potential radiate from every pore. If you really wish to arise to religious culture, make resolution. Our resolutions alone can awaken us to culture, because resolution causes accumulation of strength.
Through accumulation of strength come enthusiasm, delight and respect for work, where there are enthusiam delight and respect for work, success in whatever war do follows as a rule in which enthusiasm is there.
There must be ample time for performing noble deeds. Execute every deed at its appropriate time. Because resolution stablizes our wandering mind which brings joy and enthusiasm. The language of the resolution does not contain words like `if’ and `but’, because needs of samskaar are down in the soil of resolution alone. In that alone, flowers and fruits of culture grow. Therefore, in the very beginning, let us make the rule of paying regular visits to temple. Again, gradually, let us get acquainted with other information regarding the temple through emotional method. Simply coming to the temple would prove immensely useful for reestablishing the lost samskaars or refined values.
पाप प्रणाशकर — भव्य — मनोहरेभ्य:
घंटा—ध्वजादि परिवार विभूषितेभ्यो,
नित्यं नमो जगति सर्व जिनालयेभ्य:।।
[ Deve-Surendra nar naag samarchitebhyah,
Papa pranashkar bhavya manoharebhyah
Ghanta dhwajadi pariver vibhushitebhyo
Nityam namo jagati sarva Jinalayebhyeha
That which is worshipped by gods, god of gods, humans, naha (snake); which pershes sins, is glotious and attractive, which is decked with bell, flag and things of this kind etc. -homage everyday to all the Jinalayas, i.e. abodes of Bhagwan Jin.
Mirror is said to be ideal. The function of the mirror is to reflect the deformity that has come to settle on our face. rather than to dislodge or remove it. Having learnet about the deformity, we would have to make effort, enterprise to get rid of it. The mirror can tell us about the deformity of the external form or body, but is there any mirror to reveal to us the ills of our inner self ? The ways of today’s youthful hearts seem too peculiar. `What shall we do in a temple ? There is just a stone idol there. What shall we gain by worshipping a stone ?
पत्थर भी यदि कभी परमात्मा बने होते तो,
हम इन्सान बनने से पहले पत्थर बन गये होते।
Pathar bhi yadi kabhi parmatka bane hote to
Hum insaan banane se pahle pathar ban gaya hote.
Had the stones too ever become gods. then, prior to becoming humans, we would have turned into stones.
Therefore mind (and heart) must be clear. What good is futile hypocracy ? Numerous such questions arise in so many minds. As you put pictures of your respected mother or father or grandfather etc. in your room. The picture is merely an equation of some lines drawn up on a blanl paper, or is a beautiful picture shot with a camera. But by putting a garland around its neck, lighting incease etc., you express your regard for them. You say she/he is your mother or father or grandfather etc. We draw inspiration from them, think of performing glorious deeds like them, aspire to have their humble nature, their spot-less character, honour, respect, pride etc.
Likewise, glancing at numerous other picture brings the past history alive to us. For example, the Chittorgarh Fort introduces us to the valour of Maharana Pratap and the generosity of his loyal minister Bhamashah. The Jhansi Fort brings back to our memory the virility of Maharani Lakshmibai. Statues of other patriots who fought in our freedom struggle still inspire us with their utmost sacrifices. When we find some inspiration or the other from all these things and people, would this stone idol not have any impact on us ?
शाबास पत्थरो होशियारी इसको कहते हैं।
बिन तराशे थे तो पत्थर थे, तराशे तो खुदा निकले।।
Shabas Patharo, Hoshiyari isko Kahte Hain.
Bin Tarase To Pathar The, Tarase To Khuda Nikale
Bravo stones, it is your skillfulness. Without being engroved you wer stones. but when lengroved you become God.
These statues too are of those great men who by accomplishing the total development of their humanity attained the flame of knowledge. Again, they paved the way to unicersal welfare by preaching to the creatures of the world. Those whose attributes are-possessing all knowledge, remaining untouched by desires, and preaching the noble message-are truly gods or absolute omnisciently. Their lives are ideal to the core. Thus we can visualise our flaws by peeping into those whose innermost is ideal.
Hence, the place where statues of such men of vision and knowledge are placed in a special manner with prana pratishtha is called `temple’ by us. The temple too is considered reverend as one of the navadevatas (gods), (Panch parmeshthi, Jinwani, Jindharm, Jinchaityalaya), which we also call as `Chaityalaya’ Even before pratima pratishthapan (installation of idol), these temple are purified with mantras (hymns). The real meaning of `temple’, according to Sanskrit, is `shelter’. Shelter is the support for the people frightened by sorrows of the world. Making daily visits to temple means endeavouring to get themselves rid of the sorrows.
Right from childhood, we were being inspired to go to temple. it does not matter whether the inspiration came from our religious teachers or learned people, Pandits, society, home, family etc., What really matters is- what we can get by going to temple, browing to god, i.e. having his darshan, the manner in which we should go to the temple and have god’s darshan :-and so on, Until we understand such important matters through the application of scientific, psychological and original thinking, we over look the practice of visiting temples and having god’s darshan the things that play top most role in religion. Therefore today we have to start a discussion on the subject of our role before going to temple.